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Evolutionary Epistemology

(783 words)

Author(s): Engels, Eve-Marie
[German Version] is an interdisciplinary research program with the aim of viewing human knowledge from the perspective of evolutionary theory so as to be able to gain improved information as to the scope and boundaries of our cognitive faculties, and to resolve problems of classical philosophical epistemology (I) that have remained unresolved until now. Evolutionary epistemology has its roots in the 19th century (C. Darwin, H. Spencer, E. Haeckel et al.), but it was only in the 20th century that it developed as an interdisciplinary research…

Science and Ethics

(890 words)

Author(s): Engels, Eve-Marie
[German Version] In a second sense, ethics of science means ethical reflection on science and its technological applications. Here it can function both as fundamental reflection on science and technology and their growing importance for the total context of our existence and our relation to the world; it can also have individual sciences or fields of study and their realized or intended applications as its object of assessment. As such the ethics of science is an interdisciplinary application oriented e…

Genetic Engineering

(1,311 words)

Author(s): Engels, Eve-Marie
The Concept Genetic engineering encompasses all methods by which the genetic material (genome) of organisms is isolated, characterized, altered and/or recombined with foreign genetic material (‘recombinant DNA’), in part across species boundaries. In nature, genetic transfer is only found in bacteria and other microorganisms; it is not possible, using classic breeding methods, to selectively transfer certain DNA sequences. Therefore the term ‘genetic engineering’ refers to direct intervention of human beings into the genetic material of living organisms. The term ‘ transgen…

Eugenics

(1,456 words)

Author(s): Engels, Eve-Marie
The Concept 1. The concept ‘eugenics’ was introduced in 1883 by F. Galton, who borrowed it from the Greek eugenes to designate the science of “all influences that tend in however remote a degree to give to the more suitable races or strains of blood a better chance of prevailing speedily over the less suitable than they otherwise would have had.”1 Galton had developed his fundamental ideas on this notion as early as 1865 in reference to the theory formulated by his cousin Charles Darwin, according to which the evolution of all features of animals and hum…

Bioethics

(2,769 words)

Author(s): Engels, Eve-Marie
Need of a Bioethical Orientation Bioethics is one of the main fields of interdisciplinary applied ethics. Its aim is to gain a normative understanding of the scope and limits of human interference with nature, including human life. As an academic discipline, but also as an area of public as well as institutionalized reflection, bioethics proper began to establish itself in the 1960s. Undesirable consequences of industrial and technological developments, along with the generation of ever-new methods f…

Tier

(3,948 words)

Author(s): Peters, Ulrike | Riede, Peter | Jung, Martin H. | Kruk, Remke | Engels, Eve-Marie
[English Version] I. ReligionswissenschaftlichV.a. in den Rel. der Naturvölker, aber auch in einigen Hochkulturen wird bestimmten T. aufgrund bes. Eigenschaften (Größe, Stärke, Gefährlichkeit, Fruchtbarkeit etc.), ihrer wirtschaftlichen Bedeutung, Fremdheit oder Vertrautheit für den Menschen eine bes., sakrale Bedeutung zugeschrieben und sie werden als Träger bzw. Repräsentanten oder Vermittler numinoser Macht verehrt (Gott/Götter/Götterbilder und -symbole). Dieses auch als »Tierkult« bez. Phänome…

Animals

(4,680 words)

Author(s): Peters, Ulrike | Riede, Peter | Jung, Martin H. | Kruk, Remke | Engels, Eve-Marie
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament and Ancient Israel – III. Christianity – IV. Attitudes toward Animals in Islam – V. Ethical Considerations I. Religious Studies Especially in the religions of primitive peoples, though also in some advanced civilizations, certain animals are attributed a special, sacred significance on the basis of their unique characteristics (size, strength, dangerousness, fertility, etc.), their ec…